Aid Digestion With These Enzyme Filled Foods

Anthia Koullouros

Naturopath and Holistic Health Expert

Enzymes, quite simply digest or break down our food into smaller particles. They are found in our saliva, stomach, pancreas and small and large intestines, including:

– Protease digest protein found in the stomach and pancreas
– Amylase digest carbohydrates found in saliva
– Lipase digest fats found in the pancreas
– Maltase convert complex sugars from grains into glucose found in the intestines
– Lactase digest milk sugar (lactose) in dairy products found in the intestines
– Sucrase digest most sugars found in the intestines

image via pinterest

When we can’t breakdown our food we may experience common symptoms such as:

– Constipation
– Cramping
– Flatulence and belching
– Heartburn and acid reflux
– Poor nutrient absorption

How To Boost Enzymes Naturally

– Increase your intake of raw, living foods.

– Chew your food well. Chewing stimulates salivary enzymes as well as stomach acid and juices and enzymes from your pancreas and intestines via a reflex action.

– Eat your bitters such as bitter green lettuces. They stimulate digestive juices that contain enzymes.

Avoid drinking copious amounts of fluids during meals in order to keep digestive juices concentrated to break down your food. Food also contains enzymes and this is one of the reasons why it’s important to also eat your foods raw.

4 Food Enzyme Rich Foods

PAPAYA OR PAW PAW contains PAPAIN, a protease enzyme, which helps break down protein. It also has anti-inflammatory effects in the stomach, helps balance acid reflux, and provides relief to irritable bowel syndrome.

PINEAPPLE contains BROMELAIN, also a protease enzyme. Research shows that is helps with arthritic inflammation, indigestion, clotting, bruising, and reduces bacterial overgrowth.

KIWI fruit contains ACTINIDIN, also a protease enzyme.

CULTURED VEGETABLES such as kimchi and sauerkraut have been through a process of lactofermentation in which natural bacteria feed on the sugar and starch found in the vegetables creating lactic acid. This process preserves the food and creates beneficial enzymes and various strains of probiotics. The bacteria in kimchi produce beneficial enzymes, according to a review published in the May 2014 issue of the Journal Biotechnology International. For example, the dextransucrase enzyme produced by kimchi bacteria helps break down starches and the sugar sucrose.

Ceviche – A Raw, Enzyme Rich & Delicious Recipe

Ceviche is essentially raw seafood marinated in lime juice. The proteins on the surface of the seafood coagulate slightly and appear to ‘cook’. In a perfect ceviche, there is a balance of salt, citrus acid, onion, some heat, and the fresh flavour and firm texture of the fish. The flavours are vibrant and stimulating and have you salivating for more. The addition of enzyme-rich kiwi fruit, pineapple, or papaya further digests the raw protein.

Prawn and Scallop Ceviche Recipe

image via pinterest


8 raw prawns, peeled and deveined
8 fresh scallops off the shell
1/4 small red onion, very finely chopped
1/2 long red chilli, finely chopped
juice of 3 limes
1 cup of finely diced kiwi, papaya and/or pineapple
1 tablespoon capers, rinsed and drained
1/2 small clove garlic, very finely chopped
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
natural salt
witlof leaves, to serve


Wash the seafood in water and pat dry with paper towels. Using a very sharp knife, cut it into 2–3 mm pieces and place in a bowl. Add the onion, chili, lime juice, capers, fruit, garlic, and olive oil, then season with salt and mix well. The prawns and scallops may be replaced with raw barramundi, salmon or flathead fillets cut into cubes. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes for flavours to develop. Serve on witlof leaves.

Next week, I will outline how to supplement with enzymes, how to choose the best kinds, when to take them, and the use of enzymes, systemically beyond your digestive system.

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